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Published: Wednesday, January 03, 2018 @ 8:38 AM
— The Warren County Board of Developmental Disabilities recently collaborated with Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries and the Paul Mitchell School to host a holiday fashion show.
Seventeen models served by the WCBDD were the featured stars of the show and modeled fashions selected by Ohio Valley Goodwill’s donation team. A team of students from the Paul Mitchell School volunteered their time to do hair and makeup on all the models.
Megan Manuel, Superintendent for the WCBDD said, “It was a great show! It was so much fun, and everyone looked great! We’re so appreciative of the community collaboration that made this event so successful.”
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Sharon Hannon, Marketing Manager for Goodwill, said, “Our team worked hard for months selecting fashions for each model which would showcase attire that would be appropriate for holiday events. We wanted to make sure that we provided fashion selections that would look great on each and every model in the show.”
Wallis Doyle, Design Tech Leader for Paul Mitchell School, said, “We had an incredible time and were so happy to be part of the event.”
Rhonda Schutte, Community Integration Coordinator for the WCBDD coordinated the event and thanked long-time volunteer Joe Koehl for hosting as Master of Ceremonies.
Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 9:48 AM
Updated: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 10:56 AM
ITALY, Texas — Authorities are investigating after receiving reports Monday morning of a shooting at a high school in Texas, the Ellis County Sheriff's Office confirmed.
Italy TX school shooting. Suspect in custody. More information to come.— ECSO (@ECSOTX) January 22, 2018
Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 10:18 AM
WEST CHESTER — Despite a Butler County judge’s ruling, the battle over the historic Station Road schoolhouse continues, with the owners of the Community Montessori School filing an appeal with the 12th District Court of Appeals.
“We’ve appealed, and we’re continuing to move it forward,” Montessori school owner Todd Minniear told this news organization. “We still want it (the schoolhouse).”
West Chester Twp. was poised to sell the old school to the Minniears for $250,000 as part of a settlement in a lawsuit the school owners filed. However, some neighbors who oppose the sale intervened in the lawsuit and convinced Magistrate Justin Lane and Common Pleas Judge Jennifer Muench-McElfresh the lawsuit was moot.
The township’s zoning board of appeals nixed the sale last summer due to traffic and other concerns, and the Minniears filed an administrative appeal in the common pleas court. In December, Lane nullified the Minniears’ appeal because it was filed under a corporate name by Minniear, and he is not an attorney and couldn’t legally file the appeal.
“The court finds that the notice of appeal in this matter is a nullity and strikes it from the record,” Lane wrote.
The township trustees agreed to sell the schoolhouse to the Minniears — who plan to put an addition on the building to expand their school programs — because they said it is a “money pit” and a drain on township resources.
Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 8:19 AM
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE — Thousands of civilian employees at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base will find out today whether they will be sent home on furlough on the third day of a partial federal government shutdown.
The impact was expected to be widely felt at Ohio’s largest single-site employer with an estimated workforce of about 27,000 military personnel and civilian employees.
The exact number of Wright-Patterson employees who wold be furloughed was not immediately known, according to base spokeswoman Marie Vanover.
RELATED: SHUTDOWN: Air Force museum closes, Wright-Patt workers face furlough
All military service members were to report for duty, but would not be paid until a federal appropriations bill passes Congress to pay both them and civilian employees who are allowed to remain on the job during the shutdown, according to the Pentagon.
Civilian employees in jobs deemed essential to the protection or safety of life and property, or otherwise have an exemption under national security needs, could be instructed to continue to work during the shutdown, according to the Pentagon.
Workers were told to come into work this morning to prepare for “shutdown activities.”
It was the first partial federal government shutdown to hit the base workforce since October 2013.
This time, older employees “are overly confident that we’re going to come to an agreement and we’ll get paid and there won’t be much impact,” said Brian Grubb, president of International Association of Fire Fighters Local F88 at Wright-Patterson. More recent employees, however, were feeling “uncertain” and “concerned that there won’t be a paycheck next Friday or possibly longer.”
Grubb said Monday he expected firefighters would remain on the job throughout a shutdown.
“We’re expected to continue our jobs, yet the guys in D.C. don’t seem to be doing their job while they get paid and we’re not,” he said.
During the last shutdown, Congress reimbursed federal employees for their time on furlough or for working during the shutdown.
The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force opened Saturday morning amid the shutdown, but closed later that day. The museum had said it would open unless it received a federal order to shut down.
Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 4:28 PM
— The only legal obstacle preventing federal prosecutors from cracking down on Ohio’s medical marijuana program is a budget provision that expired with the federal budget on Friday.
The provision prohibits the U.S. Department of Justice from using federal funds to crack down on medical marijuana in states where it is legal. In Ohio, the medical pot program is supposed to be fully operational by September.
The provision protecting medical pot users and growers is often referred to as the Rohrabacher amendment, named after Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif. The amendment was added to the 2014 budget bill, and has had bipartisan support since then. It was included in the stop-gap budget measure that expired Friday.
Officials with Rohrabacher’s office say they expect it will be included in any additional continuing resolutions that may be passed to end a government shutdown.
“It has been supported on a bipartisan basis in recent years. There’s no reason to think that’s changed,” said David Carle, spokesman for U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, who submitted it as part of the Senate’s actual budget, which would carry funding through the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30.
Ohio law requires the state’s medical marijuana program to be humming weeks before Sept. 30. So, unless the provision is restored, the companies that by then will be growing tens of thousands of square feet of marijuana in documented indoor growing facilities across the state could be subject to federal prosecution.
“There does seem to be increased sentiment in Congress that the restrictions should be permanent,” said Ken Grubbs, a spokesman for Rohrabacher.
But others aren’t so sure, pointing to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ vocal opposition to marijuana. Sessions peeled back an Obama-era policy that said federal authorities wouldn’t interfere in well-regulated state-sanctioned marijuana legalization efforts. This leaves it up to local assistant U.S. attorneys to decide how to proceed.
Ohio has two U.S. attorneys, one based in Cleveland and one in Cincinnati.
Southern Ohio District U.S. Attorney Benjamin Glassman issued a statement this month saying his office has limited resources “and that we necessarily focus our prosecutive decisions where we can make the biggest impact in reducing harm and promoting safety.”
“I have said before that the opioid epidemic is the public health and safety crisis of our lifetime, and I have also pointed to the disturbing increase in stimulant drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine,” he said. “The Attorney General has made clear that he fully supports our efforts on these fronts. It will take all of us working together — federal, state, and local law enforcement, doctors, teachers, families, and friends — but we can and will stem this tide.”
Northern District U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman has said his office has always prosecuted marijuana cases and will continue to do so.
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said the Justice Department should not waste resources going after medical pot growers and users.
“The Justice Department should focus on supporting Ohio law enforcement efforts to combat the opioid and heroin epidemic, not wasting valuable time and resources going after families using medical marijuana to treat cancer or Parkinson’s,” said U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio.
Republican Ohio Senator Rob Portman did not respond to requests for comment on the issue.
The office of Ohio Gov. John Kasich directed all questions about Kasich’s position to the Ohio Department of Commerce, which said in an email,“The administration cannot speculate on an issue that is still under deliberation and review.”
Commerce department spokeswoman Stephanie Gostomski said state officials will monitor developments at the federal level.
“The Ohio Department of Commerce is following the legislative guidelines set up by (state law),” she said. “Our responsibility is to fulfill all statutory mandates in establishing Ohio’s medical marijuana program.”
Kevin Sabet, president of the anti-legalization group Smart Approaches to Marijuana, said the Rohrabacher amendment has seen more opposition than proponents anticipated. And he said there is a legal question as to whether it truly prevents federal prosecutors in Ohio from enforcing the law.
“I think there are lot more questions than there are answers,” Sabet said. “If I was an investor in the marijuana industry I’d be a little nervous.”
Thomas Rosenberger, director of the National Cannabis Association of Ohio, supports extending or cementing the Rohrbacher amendment, but doesn’t believe Ohio’s medical marijuana program would be doomed without it.
“Any time you are in a business environment and you can provide a level of certainty, that’s a good thing,” he said. “But even if it’s not (extended), I don’t foresee a crackdown in Ohio.”